"Irredeemable" has been a series where we watch the heroes of the world race to both escape the wrath of The Plutonian and find a way to bring him down. The reveal at the end of last month's issue showed us that perhaps a new set of players would be entering the playing field, and evening it up. It's an interesting predicament, though kind of suddenly presented, and here we see the outcome of this intergalactic interference in Earth's problems with its once favorite hero. Is The Plutonian in trouble?
This issue races by because it's just jam packed full of action. Many previous issues spent panels and dialogue setting all of this up; There is no more time for talking. Now is the time for action and spectacle. It's a fast paced issue but lots of it is backed up with science! If you just whiz along with it and have fun you'll find yourself swept up in the entertainment too.
The big question this issue raises is this: Could the Plutonian really be a good guy at heart? Sure, he's laid waste to multiple cities, and isn't afraid to burn the odd face off, but maybe he's just misunderstood. He did have a rough childhood. There are aspects of the character that seem to shift under different light, like the man's a walking rainbow. Maybe he's a double rainbow. All I know is, we don't really know where he starts, where he ends, or whether he's good luck or just leading us all to damned leprechaun death. To quote the classics, he's a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a vest. Sans the vest. I just like how Waid hasn't completely painted him as a one-dimensional villain. He's got depth.
It might be only 19 issues in, but the end of this month seems to enter a new phase for the title. How long the status quo revealed at the end will hold is anyone's guess, but it certainly is intriguing. With the amount of crazy ideas Waid has thrown into this series it's hard to say that anything feels new when nearly every month feels pretty fresh. But the occurrences of this issue make me feel this series is about to go in yet another direction. And that's a good thing.
Krause's art has been relatively consistent throughout the series. He draws the action well and the thing that gets me is his ability to draw the Plutonian in nearly every facet of the emotional spectrum. We've seen seething with anger, and smug with a Snickers, and here we see something else again. Krause keeps up with Waid in the portrayal of the lead character whose redemption might be addressed as a challenge in the title.
This issue goes quickly, and possibly too quickly, but it does feel like the end of an act in the overall tale. When pondering its quality you have to realize it raises one massive question: What happens next? In this serialized medium, that question is sometimes the most important. Next you might ask yourself, do I really want to know? If the story is good enough, you will. I'll be back next month, so I guess we have our answer. The quality continues and the twists just keep coming.